Peter told the members of the fledging Church, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” (1 Peter 2:9). Just as they were, you are one of God’s CHOSEN. So what does being Chosen mean? 1. God does not choose you because of your faith, your faith is the result of His choosing you! “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” (John 15:16) Your faith, and all of the blessing that come from that faith, are God’s eternal gift to you. 2. God chose you, so no charge against you can stick. God sent Jesus to cancel ALL the debts of His chosen ones. Christ Jesus died, was raised, and is now at the right hand of God interceding for you (Rom. 8:31–34). If God is for you, who can be against you?! 3. Being chosen brings humility. “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this...

What is the Lord telling you to do today? Is it something He has been whispering in your ear for months? Have you not stepped out because of fear, uncertainty, or is it because you are comfortable where you are? I want you to read these next words carefully: Obedience Makes Things Happen! I’ve watched people OBEY the message preached and come back with testimonies of what they saw happen with their own eyes. People come and sit in my office, telling me they feel called to take a different path, but they are afraid. When they step out in faith, God is there working in miraculous ways! Others rarely have a testimony and then say, “I’m not sure if this stuff works.” Let me make this as clear as I possibly can. When we obey Jesus, when we follow His Word and listen for His voice, stuff happens. Good stuff. Great stuff. Miraculous stuff. When we don’t obey … well, the opposite happens. Take a look at the disciples. When they doubted, when they didn’t do what Jesus said, their attempts fell flat. When they obeyed, they were “healing people everywhere” (Luke 9:6). Abraham is another great example. In Genesis, God tells...

Do you ever really think about obedience as part of your life? We often look at Jesus’ leadership lessons, His building of His Church, how He treated those around Him, and His wondrous miracles, but all of those things came from His obedience and desire to do the will of His Father. Obedience to His Father’s will was so important to Him that He called it His FOOD (John 4:34). He literally could not live without obedience. This week we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us. We celebrate His Resurrection with our friends and family and are grateful for the free gift of grace it allows. What I want us to remember, also, is that Jesus didn’t come down from heaven to accomplish a personal agenda of wiping out sin. He came to earth, lived and died as a human, to carry out the will of the One who had sent Him (John 6:38). He was intent on being obedient “to the point of death” (Phil. 2:8). In His incarnation, He chose to submit Himself to the plan of redemption, even though His obedience to His Father meant increasing opposition and hatred from his enemies. The mighty Lamb of God “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of...

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)   These are the words of the Apostle Paul, and we know from Scripture that he did indeed do some truly horrible things before Jesus entered his life. But what I want you to understand is that Paul was living in a time of complete depravity, under the authority of an emperor who was truly insane. And yet he still thought his sin was the worst. He was right. Just as my sin is the worst, and so is yours. All sin is created equal, just as all sinners are created equal. The act itself may seem minor, or truly horrible, but it is the decision behind that act that matters to Jesus.   When a person sins, he or she CHOSE to sin. Jesus doesn’t love that person any less, but He does hate the sin. That is why He came to earth and gave His life to save all of us from the consequences of our sin. He didn’t come just to save the murderers, the drug addicts, and the thieves who have repented. He also...

Humans have developed a very bad habit. That of underestimating our Lord. Most of the time that habit starts because you and I underestimate ourselves and those around us, and that doubt directly reflects how we view God’s ability to work in and through our lives. We aren’t the first to let this happen in our lives. Look at how some of our Bible heroes underestimated themselves and others. Moses continually underestimated his abilities because he doubted. He felt he couldn’t talk right. God gave him the words he needed to secure the freedom of the people of Israel. He underestimated God when he was told to part the waters with his walking stick. God used that simple walking stick to part the waters of an entire sea so the people could cross to safety. Samuel underestimated David when God said David was the one who would one day rule Israel. Samuel actually doubted the choice so much he argued that surely God didn’t want David. “He’s too young. He’s just a shepherd boy. He can’t possibly be the ruler You describe.” God did in fact raise young David from shepherd boy to giant slayer, and then on to be a great...